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Attitudes towards rail transportation among Swedish companies
Linköping University, Department of Science and Technology, Communications and Transport Systems. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
Linköping University, Department of Management and Engineering, Production Economics. Linköping University, The Institute of Technology.
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Rail freight, and consequently multimodal (where two or more transport modes are combined) road-and-rail transportation, constituted 15% of the total tonne-kilometres in the EU during 2009, to be compared to road transportation at 74%. In Sweden the numbers are slightly more in favour of rail transportation, but still a small share despite the fact that the European Committee promotes sustainable modes of transport. To reduce the environmental impact from the transport sector, and be able to promote the use of sustainable transport modes, it is important to gain an understanding of why the modal balance is disposed this way. A survey was used to contact 665 companies in central Sweden regarding their attitude towards transportation involving rail. The unfamiliarity regarding the attributes of rail transportation was surprisingly vast among respondents, while the required transhipment between modes was considered the most negative characteristic, since many companies believed that this creates extra costs and increased door-to-door time. The lesser environmental impact was the best known characteristic and also what respondents claimed would be the reason for them to consider this mode of transport. The distilled results of the study informs academy, policy makers and practitioners about the lack of knowledge regarding rail transportation and the specific aspects that  the industry must put effort into improving if rail transportation are to be considered a advantageous option.

Keyword [en]
Multimodal transportation, modal choice, rail transportation, survey
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102167OAI: oai:DiVA.org:liu-102167DiVA: diva2:668758
Available from: 2013-12-02 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2013-12-02Bibliographically approved
In thesis
1. Factors Influencing the Choice between Road and Multimodal Transportation
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Factors Influencing the Choice between Road and Multimodal Transportation
2013 (English)Licentiate thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

Non-sustainable transportation is a great part of the stress that human activities put on the environment. Road transportation constituted 74% of the total inland tonne-kilometres in the EU during 2009, to be compared to rail transportation at 15%. In Sweden the numbers are slightly more in favour of rail transportation, but still a small share despite the fact that the European Committee promotes sustainable modes of transport. To reduce the environmental impact from the transport sector, and be able to promote the use of sustainable transport modes, it is important to gain an understanding of why the modal balance is disposed this way. By case studies and a survey, four factors, viz costs, environmental impact, attitudes and risks, and their impact on the choice of mode of transportation for companies located in the vicinity of a rail terminal are studied.

The results clearly show that the environmental impact of rail transportation is only a fraction of that of the road transportation and could possibly influence the choice of rail transportation in a positive way. However, rail transportation is less cost efficient, flexible and reliable and these aspects – despite the advantageous conditions in terms of infrastructure and geographical vicinity to a rail terminal – contribute to a negative bias towards rail transportation among companies in the study. Thus, the cost and attitudes factors counteract the choice of rail transportation. In addition, risks, as the final factor, also counteracts the choice, since it is found that respondents consider the risks of disturbances such as delays, theft and accidents to be important when considering mode of transportation and that rail transportation is viewed as lacking compared to road transportation.

This thesis contributes to the existing theory about the costs-related issues and the environmental impact of rail transportation, as well as how companies with beneficial conditions to employ rail transportation consider the mode with regards to e.g. reliability and safety, and how these factors influence the modal choice among buyers of transportation services that are located close to a rail terminal. With this knowledge, policymakers are informed of which areas to concentrate taxes, subsidizations and information to. These things are in all probability necessary if a large scale modal shift is desired. The contribution of the effect a modal shift could have on the environmental impact of the transportation might make certain practitioners that compete on a market where a low environmental footprint is a strong competitive weapon to rethink their modal choice.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Linköping: Linköping University Electronic Press, 2013. 53 and Appendix p.
Series
Linköping Studies in Science and Technology. Thesis, ISSN 0280-7971 ; 1635
National Category
Engineering and Technology
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:liu:diva-102169 (URN)10.3384/lic.diva-102169 (DOI)LiU-TEK-LIC-2013:69 (Local ID)978-91-7519-450-9 (ISBN)LiU-TEK-LIC-2013:69 (Archive number)LiU-TEK-LIC-2013:69 (OAI)
Presentation
2013-12-16, K2, Kåkenhus, Campus Norrköping, Linköpings universitet, Norrköping, 13:15 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Note

In the printed version is the Licentiate series number and ISSN is incorrect. In the electronic version is the correct series number changed to 1635 and the ISSN to the correct one.

Available from: 2013-12-02 Created: 2013-12-02 Last updated: 2013-12-05Bibliographically approved

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Heljedal, MartinPersson, Fredrik

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